On July 20th, 2013, the IYF Culture Exhibition was held at Foley Square Park in Manhattan.
The Culture Exhibition was held to introduce both the IYF and the upcoming World Camp in August to the public in New York. Foley Square, a very busy park in lower Manhattan, was lined with each continent’s different booths for people to experience the diverse cultures through activities, crafts, artifacts, and much more. At every booth visitors were met with greetings from local volunteers dressed in native attire from their different countries. These volunteers would share special knowledge of their cultures with each curious visitor. The highlight however, was the lineup of cultural dances which IYF overseas volunteers and local volunteers prepared together.
Jamaica, Honduras, India, and many more countries’ dances brought energy and excitement to the spectators who gathered in the park. The Korean performances were a big hit with the Samulnori (Korean traditional percussion quartet), Fan Dance performers, and a traditional calligraphy artist all present to entertain the public. This was all made possible by the IYF and the New York Korean Culture Association’s cooperation. After performing for the day, they had this to say: “It’s really amazing that you guys threw this huge event where we can share all different cultures of the world. We want to help out next year as well!”
Culture was also an opportunity for many youth in the area to get involved with a community event. IYF’s Manhattan branch recruited volunteers weeks in advance, and they worked hard every day to prepare the booths and performances. After Culture was over, one volunteer said “In the beginning it was hard to get started and prepare everything, but it was worthwhile to see how people were happy being at Culture!” “My son just plays around and isn’t doing anything. Isn’t there any way he can get involved in this great event?” asked one spectator.
While the Culture Exhibition was a great way to share the cultures of the world, it also let the public know about the upcoming World Camp which is coming up from August 18th to the 22nd. An anticipated 2,000 participants from all over the U.S. and overseas will gather in New York to grow as leaders, fellowship, and share their hearts with each other through great programs held each day. World Camp will not just be a gathering and celebration of culture, but a gathering and celebration of hearts that are united in hope and faith for the future. Keep a look out for the second Culture Exhibition at Foley Square on August 16th.